Benepali : Hi, I've just had the go ahead for benepali... - NRAS

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Benepali

Vonnie10
Vonnie10
14 Replies

Hi, I've just had the go ahead for benepali, I currently work in a hospital I'm just trying to pick people's brains on how I'm going to get around staying away from people with infection? Or is it just shingles I need to be weary of?

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AllyWelshDragon

Hi Yvonne

I work in a hospital too and I'm on methotrexate. It is a worry, especially when I have to go to ward or clinic areas. I'm not directly involved with patient care as I'm admin staff.

I keep antibacterial hand gel on my desk and also use the antibac foam that's around in the hospital on the wards. I also wash my hands a lot!!

If someone comes in with a cold or says they've got a child with chicken pox, I just ask them (politely) to keep their distance! Not a lot more we can do, other than what I've said above. Try not to touch your face or rub your eyes in work as that can be a really quick place for germs to get in!

Good luck

Ally x

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James53

Hi Ally

I am on Benepali too. I look at it as 1) Do all I can to avoid friends and family with known infections 2) Take reasonable steps to minimise risk - good hygiene, keep away from those coughing and sneezing on buses etc and 3) try not to worry about it!

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AllyWelshDragon

I'm just on mtx not benepali. I thought the infection risk was the same but apparently not!

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Victoria-NRAS
Victoria-NRASAdministrator

Hi Yvonne

Infection risk is more of a concern for the biologic or biosimilar drugs like Benepali than it would be for standard DMARDs like methotrexate. Shingles is really a separate issue, as it's a reactivation of chickenpox, rather than being an infection you could catch from someone, but yes, there could be an issue with you being in an environment where you are around more people with infections.

We tried to look into this for someone else working for the NHS once before, to see if the NHS or Department of Health had any specific guidelines for NHS workers with suppressed immune systems, but sadly we couldn't find any specific guidelines. I would therefore suggest that you check with your employer, for them to do a risk assessment. It will depend on the nature of your job at the hospital, the amount of contact you have with patients and the conditions these patients have etc.

Though the biologics/biosimilars do make people more prone to infection, for some this does not make a hugely noticeable difference, and sensible levels of precaution, such as using the hand sanitisers in the hospital and being careful with food preparation may be all that's needed. It does not have the level of impact on your immune system that drugs such as cancer treatment would have. However, it is best to be cautious and discuss these possible risks with your manager.

Kind regards

Victoria

(NRAS Helpline)

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Vonnie10

Thanks folks I'm in direct contact with patient on the nursing side will use have to be extra careful on what I do and don't do.

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Matilda_1922

Hi I work in a hospital and I do have patient contact but rarely hands on. I'm on MXT so try to wash my hands together with hand sanitizer frequently to prevent infection.

I've had more colds this year than previous years which lead to a chesty cough lasting about 6-8 weeks

Started MXT in January 2016 following diagnosis.

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Sask123

Hi! I started Benepali nearly 6 months ago so thought I'd share my experience of it to try and put you at ease. I've always been the first one to catch anything going around and so was absolutely terrified at the thought of starting this new medicine! The first 2 weeks for me were the worst - I had flu like symptoms and was very ill but after that it was miraculous - I woke up one morning and I was completely fine and since then I haven't even had as much as a cold. I work in a supermarket and so handle money/customer contact regularly as well but I've been completely fine! Hope this puts your mind at ease a bit, once you get over the first couple of weeks it will hopefully be alright for you! It is different for everyone though. Best of luck x

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AgedCrone
AgedCrone
in reply to Sask123

I'm sure I had more colds &'sore throats before I started taking Dmards & now Biologics ....can't remember the last time I had a cold!

Last year I had Shingles out of the blue- no contact with anyone with that or Chickenpox...but I recognised the spots & got anti virals the next day & it only lasted about three weeks with no nasty after effects .

So don't worry too much....just carry on with normal hygiene precautions & you will be fine.,

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Vonnie10
Vonnie10
in reply to Sask123

Thankyou it's all a bit overwhelming just trying to get my head around things, I'm the same I catch every bug going lately, hopefully it all works out fine.

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Mandalou

Hi Yvonne,

I'm on Benepali after being switched from Enbrel a few months ago. I work in a very confined environment for intense and lengthy periods of time caring for the general public in their hundreds. ( airline cabin crew)

It can be quite grim and grotty at times but we follow health and safety guidelines/protocols when dealing with bodily fluids, in medical situations for example.

I take good care with what I eat, making sensible choices in places such as India but that of course is just good general advice as I did before I was diagnosed with this dratted disease.

When I go to Africa I smile to myself that I'm already dosed up on an anti malarial ( Hydroxychloroquine)

I wash my hands regularly as I'm a food handler and for me the fact that my Biologic medicine allows me to function instead of becoming disabled outweighs any fear of infection.

I would say the only downside in the year I've been back at work travelling constantly across the globe was a chest infection that lasted a bit longer than one would normally expect.

I truly wish you huge benefit from Benepali , good luck and try not to worry too much. I expect things will be much better than you imagine!

Mx

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AgedCrone
AgedCrone
in reply to Mandalou

Hi Mandalou..I too was cabin crew for many years & had more colds then - when I was supposedly fit & healthy than I ever have now on RTX.

I think common sense prevails & making sure you don't burn the candle at both ends helps to keep your immune system on an even keel.

I admire you continuing flying with RA....it must be tough at times. I could never have continued flying ( thankfully I had left before the RA struck)!unless they now allow stewardess with a walking stick & wrist splints! Not an easy combination!

Not now I hasten to add, but when first diagnosed I had more medical aids & supports than I knew existed!

Enjoy your travels!

AC

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helenlw7

I have been on Enbrel for about 9 years. I was a primary school teacher for most of that time, being in close contact with 7 year olds, who aren't really bothered who they share their germs with. The school office knew about the problem with chicken pox and always told me when a child had it. I kept a bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk and I used it quite often. I just made sure I kept my distance from anyone with a cold, and I didn't have any more infection than before I was on the Enbrel. In fact the worst chest infection I had in that time was caught in the Drs while waiting for my flu jab!

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Vonnie10

Thankyou all fingers crossed I'm going to be ok on the next lot of treatments

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Vonnie10

Thankyou everyone haven't been to great for the last few days so I wasn't on to thankyou all.

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